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Teachers, charters, others to bid for 17 new or struggling L.A. Unified campuses

July 1, 2010 |  1:09 pm

More than 80 groups will bid for control of eight low-performing schools and nine new campuses that could be not directly supervised by the Los Angeles Unified School District in the fall of 2011.

The latest bidding process represents a second try at giving other parties the job of running successful schools in the nation’s second-largest school system. The fate of more than 35,000 students will be affected, an enrollment that by itself would qualify as one of the state’s largest school systems.

“I am glad our education partners have stepped up to the plate to help raise student achievement at the identified schools,” L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines said in a statement.

Final proposals are due in December. Cortines will then make recommendations on who should run individual schools to the Board of Education, which is expected to vote in February.

In the earlier round of bidding, aspirants had to put together their proposals in weeks. This time, they’ll have the better part of a year.

In that first round, in February, groups of district teachers emerged with the most successful bids, surprising many who had predicted that privately operated charter schools would receive a substantial number of the campuses.

Just as last time, groups of teachers, with support from the teachers union, submitted letters of intent for every available school. Charter groups submitting bids include well-known, larger companies such as the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, Aspire Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools, ICEF Public Schools and Partnerships to Uplift Communities.
Six new high schools are up for bid, creating a complex evaluation process because each school is likely to be divided into smaller academies.

Central Region High School #13 attracted 16 bidders, including three long-established charter operators, a social-service nonprofit, teams of district administrators and groups from four existing high schools -- Marshall, Roosevelt, Franklin and Crenshaw. The new school is expected to enroll students living in areas served by Marshall, Franklin and Eagle Rock high schools.

In the earlier round, existing low-performing schools attracted few bids from charter schools. This time charters expressed interest in nearly all of them. The education nonprofit controlled by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will not vie for additional schools.

-- Howard Blume